Monday, 6 January 2014
This is friendship
Being a shy and reserved girl throughout high school made it quite difficult to build friendships, especially with other girls. I had very few, to no, close girlfriends over the course of my 8 year high school career. I would find that I would have very superficial relationships or I would have extremely close friendships that would die off before they truly grew. But for the majority of high school I had one girlfriend. Now, as an adult, I look back on that friendship and I see that it was always quite toxic. She was always in control, her friendship was based on her and when she wanted to be friends. I would be dropped and picked up at her convenience.
I grew up believing this was how normal friendships operated. I never much enjoyed female relationships for that very reason. I found them tumultuous and extremely confusing. Unfortunately for me, it is in my nature to be very loyal (until I am pushed beyond repair) and so I allowed this friendship to go up and down for years, I allowed for it to walk in and out of my life multiple times and I allowed myself to be hurt and disappointed by someone who, in reality, never much cared for me.
Most of my female friendships, or female encounters, were very similar to this. The friends I made would use and abuse me until they were bored of me. The girls that I didn't make friends with would scream profanities across the school yard at me, push or hit, or just be nasty toward me. So, as a result, I grew to become an adult with very limited friends, I had some select male friends who I cherish, but no true female friends. I didn't want them, because I didn't trust them. I didn't have them, because I believed I wasn't worthy of them. I didn't like them, because I thought that they would hurt me.
In recent years I have been more willing to open myself up to friendships and I have been suprised by how rewarding and gratifying it is to have female friendships. However, I found myself always being shocked when someone actually wanted to spend time with me. My self esteem has been at such a low, for such a long time, that I truly believed that I was not worthy of anyone's time. I have always thought that I am boring. After years of being cut off, talked over, ignored, laughed at, ridiculed and dropped for better offers, I just didn't believe that I had anything of any worth to offer anyone.
But, in recent months, my attitude, self worth and beliefs have shifted. I have found a new purpose and new strength in my life. I see myself differently and I spend my days more positively. As a result I have found that my life and the friendships in it are slowly shifting also. I am learning how to remove myself from situations that make me feel used within a friendship and I am becoming more aware of friends that manipulate me to give them what they need. I am no longer changing my days to accommodate others plans and I am beginning to learn when a friendship needs to be released.
Along with this shift in self esteem I have found that my life is filling up with other positive people. I am falling into friendships with genuine people who are kind and gentle, people who legitimately like me and enjoy being in my company. I still find myself suprised every so often when people choose to be my friend. But mostly, I don't question it, I just enjoy it.
My life is now full of so many beautiful and wonderful girls. Girls that love me, love my Daughters, love Anthony. Friendships that I truly believe will last me a lifetime. Friends that I can no longer imagine living without. They would give their left arm for me and my family, as I would for them. They are loving, supportive, encouraging, excitable and they genuinely care about the well being of me and my family, as I do for them.
I know that for most, all of this is a normal part of life and is not something that is ever doubted or questioned. However, for me, when I make a new friend, I have never been able to help but ask myself - why me? But now, I sit back and I appreciate that life is full of many wonderful and beautiful people that were just waiting for the right time to join me in my life. Waiting for me to be ready and today, now, I am ready. Now, my life is full of moments were I take a step back and think to myself - this is friendship, this is love, this is life - and within this moments, I get the added bonus of being able to appreciate just how truly special it is, just how lucky I am and just how beautiful life can be. Because before now, life never was any of those things.
Thank you... for being my friend x